Keeping incarcerated mothers and their families together

As Wendy Sawyer and Wanda Bertram recently wrote for the Prison Policy Initiative, “Over half (58%) of all women in US prisons are mothers, as are 80% of women in jails, including many who are incarcerated awaiting trial simply because they can’t afford bail… And these numbers don’t cover the many women preparing to become mothers while locked up this year: An estimated 58,000 people every year are pregnant when they enter local jails or prisons.” In this edition of Rattling the Bars, Mansa Musa speaks with Debra Bennett-Austin of Change Comes Now about the shocking number of incarcerated mothers in the US today, the barriers keeping incarcerated mothers from staying connected with their families, and the irreparable damage those severed connections cause for everyone involved.

Debra Bennet-Austin is the president and co-founder of Change Comes Now, a nonprofit “focused on assisting those who have been, are in danger of being, and who are currently impacted by the criminal legal system.” Bennet-Austin was formerly incarcerated for 19 years in the Florida Department of Corrections and has been home for four years.

Read the transcript of this interview:

Pre-Production/Studio/Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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Author: phillyfinest369


10 thoughts on “Keeping incarcerated mothers and their families together

  1. can we just come out and just say it, prisons in the U.S are cruel and inhumane by default because they are trying to make a more fucked up hell than Perdition itself? If they could, these prisons would mandate that all inmates must suffer the agony of being on fire if they had a way to inflict that kind of pain while preventing the mercy of death's end. Its bad enough justice is pay to win guilty till proven rich, but those in prison, they suffer conditions so inhumane the nazies of 1930s-1944 would be impressed. Going into prison is the same as dying as far as the outside world is concerned, i weep for the family who have a loved one locked up like this. I weep for mothers in prison, their children growing up while their mothers may as well be dead. Oh for a final kick in the balls, keep in mind a good chunk of all prisoners are serving insanely long prison sentences because they were poor and justice is pay to win. I bet atleast a third of mothers in prison are in there because they were so desperate to put food on the table that they shoplifted so their kids could eat, and being that desperate in our pay to win justice system that doubles down punishment the poorer you are, there's no question you''re getting 20 to life, happen to get accused and arrested in a police for profit town, you're definately going to prison in the end the second your net worth and everything you own is thrown at the black hole of fines and 6 figure bail you need to sell a house to pay, and thats just to be let out of jail after an arrest to await trial.

    Lets stop nitpicking at the tiny injustices of the american damnation system and actually call out the entire thing, from the prisons to the criminal trial processes, to the police officers, we need to call it outright for what it is. The whole thing is rotten, cruel, and evil from top to bottom by design to be as cruel as possible and to catch as many people in its net as possible for as little as possible and trap them in a cycle designed to ensure a life sentence in a roundabout way. Even children are targets, cussing to a teacher as a 3rd grader ensures an arrest and prison sentence.

    America's injustice system has ZERO redeeming factors and it needs to be completely overhauled, but its too late, the corporate interests profiting off this evil system also bribe government officials to make it even more pay to win and catch-all that its more likely America will stage its own version of a Holocaust than overhauling this evil system in favor of a more benevolent one mirroring something Norway has. But what we have actually has the world's most tyrannical of countries like China and Russia look fair, (just one of America's 50 state has a higher prison population per capita than any two countries combined. Thats how cruel it is, but hey, those prisoners deserve it and shouldnt have broken the law, deserving what they get some would say. People who make that justification are the ones who actually deserve to spend time in prison just to experience for themselves the level of cruelty and evil they are defending. I see these prisons, and i weep for everyone locked up in there, i dont care what they did, i know they're being routinely tortured and would be unlucky to survive that hell. I weep for them.

  2. It's really all about making money. It's all about keeping you in the system for profit. It's job security for the people that work in the system.

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